Pradeep Pattanayak

While the deaths of the two Russian tourists including a lawmaker Pavel Antov are still a mystery, the Crime Branch team on Saturday visited the cremation ground in Odisha's Rayagada where the last rites of the two Russian tourists were performed. The members of the investigating agency returned after collecting samples from the cremation ground. 

The team along with the members of the forensic department first visited the cremation ground. After collecting samples, they returned to the hotel where the tourists had stayed. There, they quizzed the hotel staff to figure out the sequence of events. Basically, the team wanted to know from the staff that what they had seen on that day and did they found anything unnatural. 

This team had earlier visited the Rayagada hospital yesterday and interrogated four staff there. This apart, the members had also collected Antov’s slippers from the spot and fingerprints from a glass in his room (Room No-203). 

“The scientific team has collected remnants from the cremation ground. During enquiry, the collected remnants will be analysed.  We are progressing as the process demands,” said Saroj Mahanta, DSP, Crime Branch.  

Meanwhile, the post-mortem report of the lawmaker has arrived. The report mentions the death was an accidental death, caused by the lungs and liver damages. 

Notably, four Russian nationals came to Rayagada and stayed in a hotel on December 21. On December 22, one of them identified as Vladimir Bidenov was found dead. Two days later on December 24, Antov was found dead. 

After the deaths, controversy over their last rites erupted as their mortal remains were consigned to flame. However, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov clarified that nothing wrong was done by performing the last rites of the deceased duo.